Picture courtesy of Aimee-Leigh Bean

Week 1 is done and Week 2 is halfway through. As you start getting familiar with how to use our library catalog, you may wonder “how do I find books on the shelf?”

The John Tyler library uses the Library of Congress classification system. LOC uses a combination of letters and numbers to give the location on the shelf.

The general topics within Library of Congress are very broad—the G section covers geography, oceanography, anthropology, sports, and folklore! That’s why there are divisions within each section.

In general, you can find any Library of Congress book by remembering that the call number is pretty much split in half. The first half comes before the period and the second half after the period.

So for the book, Food, Inc. by Karl Weber, the call number (or location) is HD9005 .F6582 2009.

For the first half, search alphabetically for HD, then numerically for the whole number 9005. For the second half, look alphabetically for F. Then treat the numbers like a decimal. For instance .F6582 is shelved after .F59998 because .6 is greater than .5.

We also have some special collections at the John Tyler Libraries:

Popular Fiction – Available at both campuses, the popular fiction collection features the newest bestsellers and favorite fiction authors. Find your next favorite thriller, romance, comedy, or literary fiction book here. Popular fiction books are tagged with a green sticker.

Urban Fiction (Midlothian) – This subset of popular fiction specializes in city settings and focuses mostly on African-American women. Urban fiction books are tagged with a red sticker.

Young Adult (Chester) – Novels written for and focused on young adult protagonist have been gathered in a special collection marked with pink stickers.

Graphic Novels – Using visuals and text to relay the story, graphic novels are one of the most popular mediums in 21st century reading. Graphic novels are marked with a blue sticker on the spine at both campuses. You can learn more about reading graphic novels on our Graphic Novels Research Guide.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy (Midlothian) – Classic and contemporary books from your favorite science fiction and fantasy authors sit arranged by author’s last name in our Sci-Fi & Fantasy collection. We have everything from Frankenstein to Twilight, from I, Robot to Ready Player One.

Early Childcare (Chester) – If you’re studying Early Childhood or Early Childhood Development, the Chester campus has resources set aside especially for you marked with a “Child Care” tag.

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